Norman Spencer, a university research scientist, is growing more and more concerned about his wife, Claire, a retired concert cellist who a year ago was involved in a serious auto accident, and who has just sent off her daughter Caitlin (Norman's stepdaughter) to college. Now, Claire reports hearing voices and witnessing eerie occurrences in and around their lakeside Vermont home, including seeing the face of a young woman reflected in water. An increasingly frightened Claire thinks the phenomena have something to do with the couple living next door, especially since the wife has disappeared without apparent explanation. At her husband's urging, Claire starts to see a therapist; she tells him she thinks the house is being haunted by a ghost. His advice? Try to make contact. Enlisting the help of her best friend, Jody, and a ouija board, Claire seeks to find out the truth of What Lies Beneath. Written by
Eugene Kim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Robert Zemeckis consciously shot What Lies Beneath (2000) in the style of Hitchcock, if he had access to digital technology. Also, the heroine of the film is a blonde, which was a common trademark of Alfred Hitchcock's. See more »
Since he just got into the water, Norman's fingers should be less wrinkled during the underwater struggle. See more »
What lies beneath? A smarter movie struggling to get out...
Robert Zemeckis' homage to Hitchcock (funny how we always say 'homage' and not 'plagiarism') concerns a married couple, their spooky new house, a suspicious neighbor...and enough red herrings to weigh down any commercially-viable product. Still, I was hooked for about a third of the way (once the wife supernaturally took on the persona of a missing woman and seduced her husband with a little licking and biting, I began losing faith). By the finale, so many gimmicks are being thrown at the screen, it just becomes an upscale B-flick. All the inconsistencies aside, one has to applaud Michelle Pfeiffer for her gratifying performance; even though the entire subplot about Pfeiffer's neighbor leads nowhere, she is very appealing walking up to the man in public and calling him a "murdering son-of-a-b*tch". Harrison Ford is fairly solid as well, until the last act which leaves both he and Michelle completely rudderless. That's when the filmmakers go overboard and sink this suspense-thriller in a sea of slick desperation. **1/2 from ****
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